Speaker issues special statement on outsiders attending parliamentary committee meetings

Speaker issues special statement on outsiders attending parliamentary committee meetings

November 20, 2023   11:28 am

The Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardhana today (Nov. 20) made a special announcement to the Parliament regarding the participation of outsiders in the committee meetings of the Parliament and activities of the committees.

The speaker explained that only the Members of parliament or non-member parliamentarians who come with the formal permission of the chairman for the various committee meetings that are currently in operation in the parliament and officials of other external institutions who are called for the relevant committees and officers of the parliamentary staff can participate in the committee meetings and no other persons are allowed to enter the committee rooms when the committee meetings are held.

In addition to this, he also stated that he has been informed on various occasions about the tendency of committee chairpersons to go beyond their scope of work in the committee. 

The Speaker further emphasized that all the committee chairpersons are obliged to act in a manner that preserves the traditions and practices of the Parliament for a long time, according to the provisions of the Standing Orders of the Parliament.

The Speaker also mentioned that, in addition to the staff members of the Parliament, if the chairpersons of the committee wish to obtain the services of any external person voluntarily or in any other way for the coordination and advisory functions of the committee, the prior written permission of the Speaker should be obtained for the same.

Furthermore, the Speaker also emphasized, when summoning government officials from various ministries, departments, statutory or non-statutory institutions, the need to carry out the work of the committee in such a way that they are not inconvenienced. 

He also emphasized the need to issue press releases only on matters approved by the committee in a balanced way that does not harm the honor of the Parliament.

Speaker Abeywardhana also emphasized that when dealing with letters, only official letterheads with the name of the committee should be used and official letterheads of the committee should not be used for personal or political purposes under any circumstances. 

In the same way, the Speaker emphasized in his announcement that all committee chairpersons should take care to act only in accordance with the methods that have been followed so far when submitting the reports to the parliament regarding the affairs of the committees.

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